Regency Centers, a national owner, operator and developer of grocery-anchored community shopping centers, has closed on 8.58 acres at the corner of Imperial Highway and Valencia Avenue in Brea, with plans to build an 87,000 square-foot retail center, Village at La Floresta. The center will be home to the first Whole Foods Market in North Orange County.
Regency Centers held a groundbreaking ceremony Thursday, January 8th, 2015, to celebrate Whole Foods Market coming to North Orange County at the intersection of Imperial Highway and Valencia Avenue.
“Village at La Floresta will not only provide North Orange County with its first Whole Foods, but also new and exciting restaurants and retailers,” said John Mehigan, vice president of investments for Regency Centers in Southern California. “We’ve designed this center to become the ‘downtown’ for East Brea, a gathering place for the community to meet, shop and enjoy.”
Centralized amongst the master-planned La Floresta community, The Village at La Floresta will be surrounded by the newly completed and upcoming single-family homes, town homes and future luxury senior living alternatives.
“We want to create a place that allows people to relax, interact and, most importantly, find the high quality food, goods and services that meet their needs. With areas for gathering, community events and walking paths, we hope the community comes to see Shops at La Floresta as an extension of their own homes,” continued Mehigan. The center will pursue LEED certification to continue with Regency’s commitment to sustainable development.
Upon completion, The Village at La Floresta’s cornerstone will be the largest art installation in Brea, a $2 million sculpture by artist Doug Hollis. The center will also include a water feature and lush landscaping with native plants. Pedestrian-friendly sidewalks and pathways will thread through the different retail storefronts, allowing for a relaxed and easily accessible atmosphere.
The Village at La Floresta is scheduled for completion January of 2016.
Recreational Club for La Floresta Residents is First of its Kind in Brea
La Floresta, north Orange County’s newest mixed-use, multigenerational master-planned community, has unveiled its Swim Club, a resort-style complex that is the community’s most impressive amenity. The 6,100 square foot facility is exclusively for La Floresta All Age Community residents and their guests.
"The Swim Club will be the pulse of La Floresta where residents will meet and play in an exceptionally designed amenity that will make La Floresta the most desired community in North Orange County,” says James Martinez, project manager of La Floresta. "The Club’s design elements compliment the beautiful architecture of the surrounding neighborhoods and offer an extravagance most people would only find on luxury vacation.”
William Hezmalhalch Architects (WHA), a global comprehensive land planning and design firm in Orange County, created this one-of-a-kind building with Spanish- Romantic architecture reflective of the residential architecture sprinkled throughout the community.
The expansive private Club offers indoor multipurpose rooms and a catering kitchen, as well as an outdoor pool, spa, showers and a dining patio with barbeques and seating for small parties. "Our thoughtful designs are reflective of the multigenerational residents who will be using the Club,” says Fernando Laullon, AIA, and NCARB of WHA.
Residents and their guests will also enjoy a recreational lawn, fire pit and interactive water feature for children. Surrounding the Club is beautiful, lush landscaping including mature trees, plants and flowers designed by Land Concern, a landscape architecture firm based in Orange County. The La Floresta Swim Club is being managed by First Service Property Management Company.
The La Floresta Welcome Center operation has moved into its new space within the new La Floresta Swim Club, conveniently located at 414 La Floresta Drive in Brea. Interest continues to build for future La Floresta neighborhoods, as over 1000 families and individuals of all ages have visited the La Floresta Welcome Center since the unveiling in July 2014.
All available information is presented by specially trained La Floresta Ambassadors, who are knowledgeable about the vision of La Floresta, future new home opportunities and plans for the upcoming Village at La Floresta retail and dining center coming soon.
"The new La Floresta Welcome Center features a number of fresh displays including a spectacular virtual reality tour of the La Floresta community, an illustrated aerial showing local and regional points of interest and pictorial wall telling the story of Brea’s 100 year history”, says Claudette Bianchi, lead Ambassador at the Welcome Center facility. "We encourage visitors to come by for a tour.”
La Floresta, being developed by La Floresta LLC, will offer a range of community amenities and will ultimately include nine thoughtfully planned neighborhoods for all ages and stages of life. To learn more, call 714.388.2708. The La Floresta Welcome Center is open daily 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
The opening of the Birch Hills Golf Course was recently extended to early 2015 to provide time to finish improvements to the property.
The full upgrades, which include new greens and tees, several redesigned holes, an improved driving range and new parking lot, are scheduled to be completed in time for a January reopening. The delays were primarily caused by an earlier decision to expand the amount of improvements being made. As these efforts were undertaken, completion of these improvements took more time than anticipated.
With minor exceptions, all primary improvements to the golf course are complete! Now we are essentially ”waiting for the grass to grow,” and during the grow-in period, we will complete some incidental tasks.
Golf course designer Casey O’Callaghan says golfers will appreciate the improvements.
We greatly appreciate the patience and support we've received from the community and golf course patrons. We are working diligently to get the redesigned golf course open for public enjoyment. For additional information about the planned golf course improvements or the site restoration program, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 714/388-2708.
Brea’s nine schools have an excellent reputation in Orange County for academics, athletics, and cultural arts and music. Awards include National Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence, California Distinguish Schools and several educators have been recognized as California and Orange County Teacher of the Year. Residents living in La Floresta will reap the benefits of the Brea Olinda Unified School District’s commitment to excellence including a newly constructed elementary school within walking distance from their homes.
"Brea’s schools have strong community support. Families have high expectations for academic achievement and they value education,” says Brea Olinda High School (BOHS) Principal Jerry Halpin. "We have respectful and tolerant students. Kids just love going to our schools.” That is evident with Brea’s Academic Performance Index (API) scores, with each school ranking over 800. API measures California’s Public Schools academic performance.
Athletics are also engrained into Brea’s community culture. BOHS athletic teams have won perhaps more league championships than any other Orange County school over the past quarter century. Team sports, such as basketball, football, soccer, track & field, swimming, softball, baseball, golf and volleyball have enjoyed great success and continue to rank among the top contenders in the Century League.
Outstanding arts and vocational programs are prevalent at all school levels. The School District has a regionally recognized model Photography program and the junior high and high schools’ vocal music classes feed into the United Choir of Brea, an award winning show choir with more than 120 participants.
The Building Industry Technology Program (BITA), in association with the Orange County Building Industry Association, teaches students skills needed to enter the construction trade. And for students who are passionate about computer software development, the Global Information Technology program enters kids into a regional cyber security competition. The high schools’ teams ranked first and second last year.
"We offer strong academics, activities, arts and athletic programs that prepare Brea’s students to leave high school to do whatever they want in the future,” says Halpin, who has been at the school for 12 years. "One of the great things about Brea schools is all of the kids grow up knowing each other and feed into one high school and that is a unique experience that may not be found in other Orange County communities.”
Brea not only has a rich history as one of Orange County’s first cities, it has one of the most vibrant and growing economies in the region. As a result, residents of La Floresta, the city’s new master planned community for all ages, will have access to many local resources and activities that make for a well-rounded lifestyle.
Brea’s downtown, a central hub of activity, is host to many annual events such as the recent Brea Chamber’s Oktoberfest event. Nearly every month of the year, residents and visitors can take part in a number of cultural and educational events hosted by the city and civic groups that includes the July 4th County Fair, Brea Fest, Tree Lighting Ceremony featuring local choirs and Summer Concerts in the Park.
"Right now we are planning our 20th annual Nutcracker Boutique supporting youth and family programs,” says Pat Tremayne, City of Brea Events Coordinator. "Brea offers numerous adult and youth sports leagues, tiny tots and after school programs at the community center, as well as fitness and recreational classes.”
For residents and visitors who enjoy spending time outdoors, Brea offers 17 local and regional parks, including a new 26 acre sports park. Regional parks include the 130-acre Carbon Canyon Regional Park and 129-acre Ted Craig Regional Park. The community pool was voted the best North Orange County public pool in 2012 by Parenting OC Magazine. Seniors are an important part of the Brea community too. Brea has one of the more active Senior Centers in the region that offers educational and social activities, fitness and wellness programs as well as an annual health fair.
"Brea is proud of its small town feeling where people come to Brea and stay,” says Tremayne. "Kids who grow up here tend to return to raise their families here.”
Having earned a reputation as one of North Orange County’s premier culture destinations, the city boasts many cultural options for all ages. Brea’s Art in Public Places program showcases 150 one-of–a-kind art sculptures in every corner of the city. Residents and visitors also have access to a nationally recognized art gallery located next to the Curtis Theatre, which offers live theatrical and musical performances from professional and local groups. The Brea Historical Society’s Museum and the Olinda Oil Museum and Trail house special artifacts, photos and historical pieces that tell the story of the community all the way back from the founders who worked the oil fields for the city’s first employers a century ago.
Birch Hills Apartments are now open to residents. Jamboree Housing, Inc., a well-respected builder of workforce housing in Orange County, built and manages the community. The new apartments are located on the west side of Kraemer at the southern edge of the Birch Hills Golf Course.
Birch Hills Apartment Homes incorporate state-of-the-art green features and incorporates design principles that have achieved a LEED certified Platinum rating, the highest possible. Some of the features will be solar efficient light fixtures, Energy Star appliances, and low VOC interior materials, in addition to built-in water conservation with flow restrictors, tankless water heaters, and drought tolerant landscaping. All of this keeps costs down for residents and is in keeping with Brea’s emphasis on green building.
Contact the City of Brea's Housing Department for more details and applications.
La Floresta, a multigenerational, mixed-use master planned community in Brea welcomed its first homeowners on Saturday, August 10th. The first five families moved into the Paseo townhome community being built by Standard Pacific Homes. Currently, 52 units in Paseo have been built and sold. The full build out of 118 units is expected by fall of 2015.
“This is an exciting time for La Floresta because our vision for creating a multigenerational, mixed-use community is now coming to fruition,“ says James Martinez, project manager of La Floresta. “We are thrilled to welcome the first homeowners to La Floresta.”
Paseo, the second neighborhood to be built in La Floresta, is a collection of townhomes with early California architectural influences, innovative interior space planning and outside drought tolerant landscaping. The 118 two-story townhomes are designed with three open floor plans with 1,518 to 1,867 square feet. The homes have three to four bedrooms, two-and-a-half to three baths, front porches and spacious Great Rooms next to gourmet kitchens and dining areas. To learn more about Paseo by Standard Pacific Homes, stop by the sales office daily or call 714-993-3687.
La Floresta LLC in cooperation with Caltrans and the Brea Public Works Department are continuing to work on street improvements on Imperial Highway and Valencia Avenue.
According to La Floresta Project Manager Jim Martinez, the construction schedule was recommended by Caltrans, and approved by the City of Brea. He says it will help the La Floresta development team complete the project on a faster time schedule.
What type of work is being done?
Contact Brea's Public Works Department or Caltrans if you have questions or comments about this improvement project.
Capriana, a world-class Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) by Oakmont Senior Living, has completed construction. Located on a 5-1/2 acre campus at the southeast corner of La Floresta's 120-acre Multi-generational Master Planned Community. Oakmont's newest signature property will offer 75 apartment homes, four casitas (individual homes), and a care center for those ages 60+. Capriana residents will have access to dozens of amenities, including concierge and housekeeping services, spa treatments and gourmet cuisine. Assisted care is available in the private residences if needed. Villagio at Capriana provides Resident-Centered Memory Care in Orange County.
"Oakmont Senior Living is dedicated to exemplary service in our signature communities and the highest quality of life for our residents," says Bill Gallaher, founder and principal of Oakmont Senior Living. "We are excited to introduce Capriana and to bring our first-rate quality and elegant style to Brea."
To learn more about Capriana, stop by the Capriana Visitor Center open daily 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., located on La Floresta Drive at Imperial Highway between Valencia and Rose Drive or call 714-996-1239.
As part of the Brea Chamber of Commerce Community Education Expo, I was privileged to have an awesome "Job Shadowing" experience on the La Floresta site, watching the manager of the project Jim Martinez as he went about his job that day. He was kind enough to tell me the history of the project and let his fellow employees fill me in on other basic terminology I needed to know like basics in architecture and what "grading soil" meant. Also, I got to see a side to construction that not everyone gets to see.
As an outsider who expected the project to take months or even years to complete, what never occurred to me beforehand was that the seeming delay in construction was not a fault of those building the city, but rather a part of the natural process of building anything in construction, not to mention something of this magnitude. The "La Floresta" project plans on being both self-sustainable and considerate of neighboring areas, while taking into account the input of those that will live there. There is also a new idea being tested to prevent flooding by building "catch" and "ditch" basins to hold excess water that would otherwise affect homes and other buildings. All these extra variables are added on top of the standard procedure for anything in construction.
What I found particularly interesting was the fact that these people are still making an impact through their jobs on society. Saving the environment is still a priority for them, and there is plenty of room for creativity on the job. My dad as an engineer is worried that I won't have the solid work opportunities as a writer or philosophy professor that I would have with a job in math or science. This experience was meant to show what I would expect with a "more stable work opportunity". Though I still can't say definitely which career path I will choose I am happy to know for certain that if writing in general isn't the career path I choose I will still have a creative outlet and be able to utilize my abilities and talents to do something that still matters.
Thank you, everyone at "La Floresta" for showing me that!